Earth Portal

by Daniel Berkman

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about

The Earth Portal planetarium soundtrack was composed in 2012 for The Next 50, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World's Fair at Seattle Center.
Spearheaded by Rick Ingrasci M.D. of The Whidbey GeoDome Project and produced by Toshi Anders Hoo, Earth Portal was created by a brilliant team of tech savvy cosmology enthusiasts and experts with a vision to inspire social change through the experience of awe and wonder.

The show was held in a giant inflatable dome called the Whidbey GeoDome, holding up to 25 people who could lie back looking into a 360 degree domed screen, giving the feeling of actually traveling through space. The GeoDome uses an advanced up to date NASA program that begins on Earth, exploring the preciousness of life on our amazing blue planet and its place in the Milky Way Galaxy, moving outward to the farthest reaches of the Cosmos to explore the nature of the interdependence that is inherent in all existence.

THE MUSIC:

1. THE JOURNEY OUTWARD

...takes us from lift off on Earth to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, each stop on our journey filling in the gaps of our knowledge of the Universe, from our solar system (referencing the geocentric view and the shift to the heliocentric view) to the kuiper belt to the constellations and their disintegration as we pull back into deep space to view our Milky Way Galaxy from a distance...all the way to the farthest reaches of our modern telescopes till we reach the cosmic microwave background, the leftover radiation from the Big Bang, itself.

Mild synth pads punctuated with delicate piano, bowed piano, cello and celeste. Each section of the journey is identified by specific sounds:
1:30: Satellites (digital noises)
2:50: Goecentric view (harpsichord, oboe, strings)
4:07: Heliocentric view (strings, clocks, synth)
5:36: Voyager Spacecraft (bowed piano, piano, celeste, space noises taken from radio waves from Jupiter and it's moon, Io)
7:37: The Kuiper Belt (xylophones)
8:40: The Constellations (choir, cello)
10:00: The Milky Way Galaxy (piano, bowed piano drone, Jupiter 8v, celeste)
12:30: Deep Space (Jupiter 8v, piano)

2. ISOMORPISHM (Pattern Recognition)

As we get to the edge of the known universe the film shifts in tone. In contrast to the Journey Outward, which was a celebration of the fruits of the scientific reductionist method, left brain, verbal, we begin to experience a different perspective on the nature of the universe. We now begin to see the universe as a connected, holistic, lyrical, recurrsive patterns. We recognize the relational aspect to all we perceive, including our own connectedness to everything. We see the visualition of the known cosmos and transposed on top of that image we begin to see an image of a mycilial network and thenan image of a map of the internet, and thenour own neural networks. Then we begin moving inward, back towards earth, and we see a series of layered spiral patterns (galaxies, nautilus shells, fluid whirlpools, etc...).
The instruments featured are the Gravikord (21-stringed stainless steel Kora), celeste, sampled brass bowls, piano, crotales, strings and woodwinds.

3. BIOPHILIA

We end the show with a sequence of music and a montage of beautiful footage (timelapse, slomo, underwater, etc...) celebrating the beauty of life itself and the power that comes with seeing ourselves as part of nature (featuring Kora, a 21-stringed lute/harp from West Africa, Shakuhachi, Japanese bamboo flute and vocals).
Audience members should leave feeling not only reimbodied in themselves, but with a feeling of connection to the world around them, near and far. - This is perhaps the most important musical section of the film as it ends the film, leaving people with an ecstatic and transcendant sensation.

TRACKS 4 AND 5
PALE BLUE DOT & EARTH PORTAL

Both tracks were live improvisations Berkman created one evening in Toshi Hoo's living room and were to be the audition tracks for the score instead of presenting previously recorded work.
Pale Blue Dot was all done on laptop using MainStage, Native Instruments plugins, Sooperlooper and an Akai Synthstation 25.
Earth Portal used the same instrumentation but added the Gravikord as the main instrument.
Needless to say, the crew at the Whidbey GeoDome Project were taken by the improv tracks and were eager to hear the first drafts of the score.

credits

released 20 December 2013

All music composed and performed
by Daniel Berkman for the
Whidbey GeoDome Project
Produced by Daniel Berkman
Co-produced by Toshi Anders Hoo
Cover art by Daniel Berkman
Mastered by Steve Lawson

Vocals: Rachel Bagby
Shakuhachi: Charles Moselle
Kora, Gravikord, Cello & Laptop: Daniel Berkman


Expression of gratitude:
Rick Ingrasci M.D., Toshi Anders Hoo, David McConville,
Ariel Berendt, Michelle Grenier, Joe Menth, James Whitcomb,
Vito Zingarelli, Dorit Zingarelli, Lynaea Lumbard, Britt Walker,
Amy Walker, Marlene McCormack, Rachel Bagby, Charles Moselle,
David Earl, Keith Crusher, Steve Lawson

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